4months on: celebrating Our City Our Story

We launched our 10 year mission for all children and young people in NewcastleGateshead at two special events on 18th September 2018. Taking place at Northern Stage, and attended by over 220 invited guests, the events were hosted by Gateshead Youth Assembly and Newcastle Youth Council. Speakers included broadcaster Kirsty Lang, local councillors, the chair … Read more

Twi-Lates – a Dance City vlog

We launched our 10 year mission for all children and young people in NewcastleGateshead at two special events on 18th September 2018. Taking place at Northern Stage, and attended by over 220 invited guests, the events were hosted by Gateshead Youth Assembly and Newcastle Youth Council. Speakers included broadcaster Kirsty Lang, local councillors, the chair … Read more

A free evening of culture for teenagers? We’ve got 2!

The North East’s only free culture crawl for 12-17year olds returns to Tyneside on 17th and 18th May – and with twice the fun! 

Twi-Lates brings together some of the region’s most iconic venues to put on two nights of special events for teenagers in NewcastleGateshead. From big budget films, to silent discos, improvisation games, music workshops, animation making and mass participation dancing, Twi-Lates is packed with events designed for young people. 

The events take place during “twilight”, between 4pm and 7pm, when teenagers tell us they are able to come along without the rest of life getting in the way. Twi-Lates runs on the 17th and 18th May, immediately before The Late Shows – NewcastleGateshead’s award winning late-night culture crawl involving over 60 venues. And, because we know the cost of getting stuck into culture can exclude some young people, every Twi-Late event is completely free.

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“Some roared, some whispered, all were important” – the magic of Our City Our Story

Reflections on the Our City Our Story event by Helen Green, Children and Young People’s Team Lead at Live Theatre.

A few days have passed, the rooms are back to normal, chairs – tables – sofas returned to their usual place. A few flyers now tucked into racks remain the only physical trace that Our City Our Story occurred on the 7th of March here at Live Theatre.

To be honest a year ago when we blithely said – ‘Aye go on, yeah we’ll host something’ nobody really knew what Live Theatre had agreed too. What was understood by Tech, by Front of House, by Senior Management, by every department was that the theatre would be welcoming a whole load of young peoples voices into the building. Giving a platform; to say some stuff about what they think – about being a young person, growing up in this city. Why would we not? Telling stories is Live Theatre’s bread and butter.

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It’s time to be bold, it’s time for X-Culture


Be bold and reap the rewards of a new approach to audience development, argues Laura Rothwell, founder of CRYSTLSD and interim Marketing Director at Tyneside Cinema.

In this blog Laura explains why and how cultural venue marketing teams can do things differently, sharing learning from the recent X-Culture pilot and publishing the full project report.


Over the past few months CRYSTLSD has been leading an innovative programme called X-Culture, testing new approaches to engaging young people in cultural, creative and heritage offers.  

At the City of Dreams launch event in September 2018, we outlined how, through a small pilot project, we would attempt to demonstrate how relationships with a younger audience could be rethought. 

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Read moreIt’s time to be bold, it’s time for X-Culture

11,000 voices – this is Our City, this Our Story

 


Join us on March 7th for a completely new kind of event, giving a powerful insight into growing up on Tyneside.


Our City Our Story is happening for the first time on March 7th 2019. Organised by City of Dreams, and hosted by Live Theatre, this unique event showcases stories made by more than 11,000 children and young people living in NewcastleGateshead.

Running 1pm to 6pm, and featuring work from more than 50 collaborators, this is an afternoon full of film, theatre, music, poetry, animation, art, virtual reality, photography, alternative city maps, interactive exhibits, and more.  All brought to a close by a panel discussion hosted by comedian Mark Thomas.

Our City Our Story is a new kind of event, a platform for young people to tell their own stories in the ways they want them told.  

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A workforce that represents the changing face of Britain? We’re still playing catch up.

 


In our first blog of 2019, Eclipse Enabler Degna Stone argues there is no “one size fits all” solution to under-representation of black people in the cultural sector. 

Access, money, governance, workforce development, all need urgent attention from the leaders of our creative institutions. 


I’m an Enabler. An odd title but one that perfectly sums up what my job entails. Enabling artists to build relationships that will help them to create sustainable careers in the arts. I do this through Slate: Black · Arts · World, an ambitious cross-artform development programme run by Eclipse to support Black* artists across the north of England by increasing access to local, national and international networks.

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Read moreA workforce that represents the changing face of Britain? We’re still playing catch up.

Taking on the progression challenge – presentations and pledges

 


In November City of Dreams brought together arts, culture and heritage organisations to discuss how we can best support children and young people’s progression over the next decade.

Here we share some of the presentations, films and ideas shared at the event, alongside examples of pledges made by our guests to improve future progression opportunities for under25s.


More than 30 organisations attended the seminar, hosted by Sage Gateshead on November 27th. These ranged from large cultural and heritage institutions, to statutory providers of creative activities, to youth sector partners, education services and independent arts organisations.  “It’s not often that we get the chance to come together and talk in this open and honest way”, commented an attendee from a cultural venue in Newcastle. “There’s so much good stuff happening”, said a colleague from a statutory education provider, “it’s so useful to hear what everyone is doing”.

“I’m inspired to do more and better”, added the learning director of a local science and heritage charity. And what was it that inspired them so much?

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Read moreTaking on the progression challenge – presentations and pledges

Multiverse Arcade – young people making waves

 


City of Dreams believes NewcastleGateshead can earn a reputation as the best place to be young. We can only make this ambition a reality if children and young have a powerful voice in our city.

Earlier this year Unfolding Theatre invented an exciting new way to give young people a powerful say in the future of our society. It is called MultiVerse Arcade, and over 3000 people took part.

We’re delighted that Artistic Director Annie Rigby, and Associate Artist Gary Lydon, have taken time out to tell us all about it.


Multiverse Arcade, an installation made with and for young people, welcomed 16,701 people through its doors.

Multiverse Arcade was created in collaboration with 51 young people at Young Writers’ City at Excelsior Academy (run by New Writing North) and Queen’s Hall Youth Theatre in Hexham. They worked with us at Unfolding Theatre to explore their feelings, concerns and dreams for the future. The piece they helped create was presented as part of the Great Exhibition of the North.

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Communicating with children and young people – new report, new ideas

 


City of Dreams is working with young people on Tyneside to explore new ways for cultural venues to communicate with under25s.


During the 2018 Big Culture Conversation we spoke to nearly 1000 under25s on Tyneside. 9-in-10 of them could identifs cultural organisations in NewcastleGateshead by their logo or the facia of their buildings. But only 1-in-5 knew what was on offer for them in those venues. The vast majority did not read venue brochures, visit organisation’s websites, or follow them on social media.

As for venues promoting via young people’s peer-to-peer communication tools, well, that was an absolute no-no. Worse still, around 66% of those taking part in the Conversation did not think they “belonged” in cultural venues. Whilst nearly 8-in-10 said the use of organisational brands, or artform terms, on promotional material made them feel less confident about engaging.

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Read moreCommunicating with children and young people – new report, new ideas

Agents of humanity – taking on the progression challenge

 


City of Dreams is bringing arts, culture and heritage organisations together on 27th November to discuss how we can best support children and young people’s progression over the next decade.

Places are filling fast. Don’t miss out!

Ahead of the seminar here are some thoughts about progression from our Executive Producer, Ben Dickenson.


When City of Dreams launched in September we made the bold claim that NewcastleGateshead can be the best place to be young. Bold, but not idle and not plucked from a marketer’s handbook. This ambition was set by our Champions network of over 50 organisations, and our belief that it can be achieved was affirmed during our Big Culture Conversation with nearly 1000 under25s across the city.

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It’s your city, it’s your story – tell it!

 


Under 25? Live in Gateshead or Newcastle?

Want to tell your own story? Want to be heard by those in charge of our city?

Get involved with the Our City Our Story event.


Our City Our Story is a special annual event, happening for the first time on March 7th 2019. It is a powerful way for young people to share their stories and shape the future. It is a chance to show the world what it’s really like growing up on Tyneside, and to have those stories heard by people who make the big decisions about our city.

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The Big Culture Conversation 2019 – we want to talk!

 


A call out from the City of Dreams Young Champions Board

Make your voice heard – take part in one of our consultation workshops


City of Dreams is a 10year mission for all children and young people in Newcastle and Gateshead. We want our city to be know as the best place to be young.

We’ve brought together museums, galleries, cinemas, music and dance venues, theatres, science centres, a centre for children’s books, and lots of other organisations that do creative things with under25s. Also involved are charities, schools, universities, councils, health services, transport, businesses, and more.  We have exciting plans to help everyone under25 in our city take part in creative activity – that’s 165,000 people, every year, till 2028. Plans to support children and young people grow skills, confidence and talent. Plans to work with young people so they have a strong voice in decisions about our city.

In fact, listening to young people is one of the most important things we will be doing. And that is where you come in!

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Read moreThe Big Culture Conversation 2019 – we want to talk!

Against the odds and bordering on crazy? Maybe. But yes YOU CAN!


learn the tools for a career in producing with Newcastle’s award winning puppetry and alternative theatre organisation

by Kerrin Tatman, Artistic Director and Co-Founder of Moving Parts


Engaging young people in the work we do at Moving Parts Arts is essential to the growth of the North East visual theatre scene and to develop a pool of upcoming producers and arts administrators. There are few avenues in the North East region for young people to enter the world of producing, programming and event organisation and we are thrilled to have partnered with City of Dreams to start creating real opportunities for young people to enter this rewarding field of work.

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Read moreAgainst the odds and bordering on crazy? Maybe. But yes YOU CAN!

Let’s talk about “younger audiences”

 


By Laura Rothwell

Founder of arts and culture marketing agency CRYSTLSD and Interim Director of Marketing at Tyneside Cinema


Over the next six months CRYSTLSD will be leading an innovative City of Dreams pilot programme, testing new approaches to engaging young people in cultural, creative and heritage offers.    

This blog – the first in a series by CRYSTSD founder, Laura Rothwell – recaps the bold assertions underpinning this programme, initially presented at the City of Dreams launch event in September 2018. Laura challenges the received wisdom of marketing approaches often employed by cultural and heritage organisations. She calls for a more intelligent segmentation of ‘younger audiences’, and outlines how the CRYSTLSD pilot programme with City of Dreams will test a relationship-based engagement model that can reshape the way our marketing teams work and transform how our sectors communicate with young people.

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Read moreLet’s talk about “younger audiences”

City of Dreams – our supporters and partners

We launched our 10 year mission for all children and young people in NewcastleGateshead on 18th September 2018.

Attended by over 220 invited guests, the two launch events were hosted by Gateshead Youth Assembly and Newcastle Youth Council.

Among our guests were supporters from Newcastle City Council, Gateshead Council, Newcastle University, North East England Chamber of Commerce, Gillian Dickinson Trust, the Community Foundation of Tyne & Wear and Northumberland, The Prince’s Trust, BBC Newcastle, Curious Arts, VInspired, Esh Group, Moving Parts: Newcastle Puppetry Festival, and more.

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Read moreCity of Dreams – our supporters and partners

City of Dreams launch – exclusive video footage

We launched our 10 year mission for all children and young people in NewcastleGateshead on 18th September 2018.

Attended by over 220 invited guests, the two launch events were hosted by Gateshead Youth Assembly and Newcastle Youth Council.

You told us you wanted footage of our hosts performing their fantastic “What Is Culture?” poem, and to share the inspirational words of broadcaster Kirsty Lang, and NewcastleGateshead Cultural Venues chair Iain Watson. You ask, we deliver!

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Read moreCity of Dreams launch – exclusive video footage

City of Dreams launch – in pictures

We launched our 10 year mission for all children and young people in NewcastleGateshead at two special events on 18th September 2018.

Taking place at Northern Stage, and attended by over 220 invited guests, the events were hosted by Gateshead Youth Assembly and Newcastle Youth Council. Speakers included broadcaster Kirsty Lang, local councillors, the chair of NewcastleGateshead Cultural Venues, and representatives of City of Dreams research, business, charity and cultural partners.  

Read the full post and see all the pictures

Read moreCity of Dreams launch – in pictures

1000 voices – 1 mission – 10 years


City of Dreams begins!


18th September 2018. The date we launch our decade-long mission for all children and young people in NewcastleGateshead. A mission founded on the belief that our city can earn a reputation as the best place to be young.

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Our durability is in our culture

JamesRamsbotham2016

By James Ramsbotham


Chief Executive, North East England Chamber of Commerce

and

Trustee of the Gillian Dickinson Trust


If you have ever been working in some far flung part of the world and suddenly seen a clearly identifiable North East image (one of our castles, or cathedrals, or bridges, or other icons such as the Angel of the North) you will know how it lifts your spirits and makes you feel proud.

I recently spoke with someone who had lost the sense of taste – all food was the same to them.  They remained well fed and physically strong but their state of mind was very depressed.  It is much easier to feed the body than the soul – to do so we need a strong and vibrant culture.  It enriches every aspect of our lives.

Great civilisations are built by strong economies but their durability is in their culture. 

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I’m a Champion – you can be too!

 


By Jonny Riggs

Prince’s Trust Outreach Executive, and professional artist


What is a City of Dreams Champion?

City of Dreams Champions believe we are able to shape the future.

We believe we can make NewcastleGateshead the best place for young people to live and engage with culture.

We champion great ideas, and big decisions, which we believe will have a positive impact on the lives of young people for many years to come. We provide the venue, the canvas, and the stage for discovery and expression, where an ambivalent murmur becomes a rambunctious roar!


What do I bring to the table?

My name is Jonny Riggs. I currently work in an Outreach role for the Prince’s Trust.

Read the rest of Jonny’s Champion story

Read moreI’m a Champion – you can be too!

The Big Culture Conversation – “a beacon of good practice”

BCC full hall


By Valerie Ender

Coordinator Gateshead Youth Council, and Gateshead Youth Assembly


When we were asked to be a part of City of Dreams, my first thought was ‘hmmm, it’s a bit arty isn’t it?’

‘Arty’ isn’t what Gateshead Youth Council has been about but, over the past few years we have been dipping our collective toes in the water by getting involved in the Juice Festival. This led to eight of our Gateshead Youth Assembly young people gaining Bronze Arts Awards, and another group of our Asylum Seeking young people starting their Arts Award journeys.

What this showed us, is that you don’t need to be typically arty to get involved in the arts. It has been a bit of a departure for us, but, it turns out, a very welcome one.

City of Dreams has proven to be a beacon of good practice when it comes to engaging young people in conversations about what they want and need.

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